LA loses $40M in federal funds over union resistance to evaluations

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has just lost out on $40 million of free federal money because the teachers union has declined to sign the district’s Race to the Top grant application, the Huffington Post reports. Given the dramatic budget cuts that they have suffered, LA’s K-12 schools could really use the millions in federal education dollars. Why then did the LA teachers’ union, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), pass up the money? Because it continues to object to student test scores or other measures of student growth as a “significant factor” in teacher evaluations, the Sacramento Bee reports. However, that’s not the reason that UTLA president, Warren Fletcher, gave for refusing to sign the application. “Race to the Top costs more than it brings in,” Fletcher told the Daily News. “You’re essentially setting up a system with a lot of bureaucracy, and those pieces have to stay in place after the grant period.”

“There were enough issues out there that were complex enough that we could not get to the point where we could get together with the district,” he continued…

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